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BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,10TH JAN 2020-President Uhuru Kenyatta ,Deputy president William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga have led Kenyans in congratulating peerless Malkia Strikers after the national women volleyball team clinched the 2020 Olympics ticket on Thursday evening in Younde, Cameroon.
The Kenyan queens sealed the Olympic slot after dispatching Nigeria by straight sets of 25-15, 25-21, 25-12 in their final match of the qualifiers.
Malkia Strikers enjoyed a rich vein of form in the qualification journey winning all their matches beating Egypt, 3-1, Boswana 3-0, and Cameroon 3-2, before sealing the ticket with the Nigerian victory.
Uhuru While applauding the classy nine-time African champions for grabbing the sole ticket reserved for African countries, termed the team’s qualification, after 16 years of waiting, as prove of Kenya’s rising profile as an African sporting powerhouse.
And with most national teams having decried lack of government’s financial support since time immemorial, the President assured the team of his administration’s continued support as they prepare for the Summer Games.
Also joining the chorus of praise was Deputy President William Ruto and Opposition chief Raila Odinga.
Speaking a few minutes after spanking Nigeria 3-0 to confirm Kenya’s return to the Games after a long hiatus stretching from 2004, an elated head coach Paul Bitok termed the feat as ‘unexplainable’.
“Once again, we do it! After a 16 year wait!!!Tokyo here we come!It is unexplainable the feeling of victory, more so at continent level and with a sole ticket to represent the continent!The queens indeed have rightfully earned the title of being an African Powerhouse.For God and Country and fans alike, we are very grateful for the enormous support through!To the players, the staff , sponsors and federation, it is a mission accomplished!Utmost appreciation for all your efforts,” he said.
The former Kenyan international who without doubt has been the catalyst for Malkia Strikers’ upturn in form instigating an immediate improvement in results since he took over last August added that the focus now shifts to the Games.